Whangarei District Council, Natural Area Maintenance Contract

Te Ngahere has been contracted by Whangarei District Council since 2006 to control environmental weeds at high value sites within the Whangarei District.  Previous to 2013, these works were delivered under a long term contract.  Since then the work is delivered under a yearly programme according to the available budget.  Scope of works has included Whangarei Falls Scenic Reserve, AH Reed Memorial Kauri Park, Parihaka and Mair Park and Coronation Scenic Reserve.

Environmental weed control has been undertaken in these reserves over a number of years.  Te Ngahere has used our Forest Restoration Framework track progress in these reserves (Initial Control to Follow Up Control to Seedbank Control to Forest Protection).  All these reserves (except Coronation Scenic Reserve that was added more recently) are now in either Seedbank Control (to target the pest seedbank remaining in the soil) or Forest Protection status (internal pest sources are eliminated) with an ongoing requirement for Tradescantia control. Once a reserve area has reached Forest Protection stage, native bush habitat is generally self sustaining, invasive weeds that encroach from boundaries and via wind and water are strategically controlled, and maintenance cost and chemical use is minimal.

The Whangarei District supports a large range of plant pests due to the favourable climatic conditions, the introduction of many pests as garden plants, and the high levels of disturbance through land use change. Notable species which have been controlled include:

  • Climbing asparagus (Asparagus scandens)
  • Taiwan cherry tree (Prunus campanulata)
  • Moth plant (Prunus campanulata)
  • Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides)
  • Woolly nightshade (Solanum mauritianum)
  • Brush wattle (Paraserianthes lophantha)
  • Tradescantia (Tradescantia fluminensis)

Following or during scheduled weed control visits, the contract manager will often visit the site being worked on and provide feedback to Te Ngahere’s Operations Manager/Field Supervisors.